Yesterday morning I went for my three hour glucose tolerance test. I decided to just go and get it overwith. A few observations.
This time my drink was also orange, but it was carbonated. It went down MUCH easier. If you have a choice, take the carbonated one. It tasted like Minute Maid Orange soda to me and I had no problem drinking it down, even though it was at room temperature. When I took the first test and only had to drink half as much (but it was not carbonated), it took me twice as long to choke it down. The one hour test actually made me feel worse than the three hour. Go figure.
I had read on a board to take along a movie and it would make the time go much more quickly. I brought along some magazines, a book, and a movie. The first hour I felt a little off so I mostly walked around the room and read a little of my book. The second and third hour I distracted myself by watching You’ve Got Mail on my laptop (with headphones). It made the time pass much more quickly and kept me from sitting there thinking about how bored I was or how I was slowly slipping into a sugar crash.
So that’s the good stuff. Now the bad stuff.
I failed my test.
The only reason I know I failed is I signed a release form and went back to the hospital a few hours later and picked up my results. My OB’s office was closed yesterday because of the holiday so I imagine I will get a call from him today. I wanted to know the results beforehand so I could do some research and such before I talked to him. I also wanted to know how badly I failed so I could have some idea of what might be appropriate for the next step.
So I went through several hours of crying and the obligatory “why me” and “what if I’ve hurt my baby” and “I can’t believe how much this is going to screw up our lives for the next eleven weeks”. I have to admit that this was a little hard to accept on top of something else we have going on in our personal lives that I haven’t really written about on my blog. I asked God – why this too? Our faith is really being stretched right now. Then I got into rational research mode to figure out what was going on.
So to all you kind GD ladies who offered to help, here’s my situation. (And to anyone else who finds modern medicine both confusing and fascinating.)
My scores were:
1 hour: 184
2 hour: 182
3 hour: 151
The reference limits they gave me at the hospital were:
fasting: < 95
1 hour: < 180
2 hour: < 155
3 hour: < 140
So according to their scale, I passed one, just missed one and failed two. However, looking around online I also found out that there are several other scales and they vary. (Which is part of the problem with the whole GD thing – there are no standards, per say, and it seems that everyone does what is wise in their own eyes. Ahem.)
This scale put out by the National Diabetes Data Group is also used by the American Council of Obstetricians and Gynocologists. It is:
fasting: < 105
1 hour: < 190
2 hour: < 165
3 hour: < 145
So according to this scale, I passed two, just missed one and failed one. That scale makes it seem not quite so bad. The problem is they don’t give you any ranges above those scores. So is a miss of 5 points considered a failure, but manageable by diet and exercise? Where do you draw the line between yes, you failed so we’ll tweak a few things in your diet and yes, you failed, proceed directly to insulin/medication and do not pass go? Can you see how confusing it is?
From everything I’ve read, it sounds like once you are diagnosed you are really at the mercy of your OB, dietician and/or endocronologist and whatever their perceptions and biases are. You are subjected to many, many more doctor’s appointments, fetal monitoring, and have a much higher rate of “interventions” during delivery because your pregnancy is now considered “high risk”.
However, reading discussion boards it blows my mind how much variance there is in terms of what different experts recommend for their patients. Even the women discussing it can hardly believe what some of the others have to do or what some of them get away with. Many of the women have a terrible time trying to follow the diet and keep their numbers within the ranges required by their health professionals.
The thing that strikes me over and over again as I do reading and research on this topic is that there is NO UNIFORM STANDARD and there is very, very little evidence that these strategies really make a difference. Instead, it seems that for many, many women a diagnosis of GD greatly increases the stress in their lives during the one time in their lives when they should be avoiding stress as much as possible.
What is the tradeoff? Yes, I do believe there are some women who are seriously diabetic and they and their babies need intervention. But I also wonder about the incredible amount of stress this puts of a lot of other women and whether the added physical problem of the stress itself actually undoes any of the supposed good achieved by trying to control the GD.
Well, that’s enough for now. My goal is to have a low-key day today (as much as possible since I have to talk to my doctor). Poor Little Miss Peanut got put through the wringer yesterday between the 12 hour fast, the glucose, and then an upset mommy. She needs a break! 🙂
Thanks for letting me ramble. And if any other GD moms have suggestions for food/snacks, let me know. According to almost everything I read, I eat completely wrong for a diabetic. I don’t eat badly – we just eat the wrong things such as homemade granola and grape juice for breakfast, etc. I haven’t even started on the diet and I’m already bored with it just reading about it! LOL! Have a great day! 🙂